475: Further Boomerang Difficulties

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Further Boomerang Difficulties
An eternity later, the universe having turned out to have positive curvature and lots of mass, the boomerang hits him in the back of the head.
Title text: An eternity later, the universe having turned out to have positive curvature and lots of mass, the boomerang hits him in the back of the head.


This comic is a sequel of sorts to 445: I Am Not Good with Boomerangs, as it deals with the same subject matter with the same panel layout.

The first strip shows Cueball throwing a boomerang, which doesn't come back. He looks downwards in the rightmost panel as if in shame. In 939: Arrow, a boomerang returns to Cueball, which can either be the same Cueball from this comic or another person.

In the second strip, he throws another boomerang, which somehow manages to hurt the ozone layer (as indicated by an off-screen voice). This is of course not possible with a boomerang, as the ozone layer is a layer of O3 molecules very high up in the atmosphere.[citation needed]

The third strip shows Cueball throwing something that appears to be a boomerang, but then Megan enters and reveals that it was their last banana - which she probably had expected to eat since she calls him an asshole. Perhaps this is why she broke up with him in the first comic.

The final strip shows Cueball throwing one last boomerang, which breaks the frame of the comic, already after two out of the four frames used in each of the first three strips. In the second panel, Cueball seems to be leaning backward in shock or terror. Then, panning down, we find the last panel, much larger and suddenly mainly black instead of white. It shows that this time he was actually inside a spacecraft (which resembles an Apollo Lunar Module in a very bad manner), and the boomerang has just broken out through the hull. We see the boomerang and Cueball tumbling out into space with the escaping air to certain death, revealing why Cueball was so taken aback when the boomerang broke through the frame.

If you try to link up the rightmost panels, as what was suggested 445: I Am Not Good with Boomerangs to get a bonus comic strip, you get a bad story where Cueball is looking down, presumably in shame. Then a person (presumably Megan), screams about the ozone layer. We also see Megan call Cueball an asshole, probably because he had destroyed (or messed with) the ozone layer.

The title text notes that, assuming a theory that is no longer generally accepted where the universe has a positive (closed) curvature and lots of mass, the boomerang would, after a (very) long time, hit Cueball in the back of his head. This would happen because under those conditions the entire universe would eventually fall back on itself in the Big Crunch. Before this happens, everything would again get pressed close together, and it is during this process that the boomerang would finally return to his frozen (but quite possibly preserved) head. (So at least one "success" in four attempts.)

Boomerangs also became a main theme in the interactive comic 1350: Lorenz. The same format of multiple bad endings to the same starting set-up is used in 1515: Basketball Earth.


[Cueball is throwing a boomerang.]
[Holding his hands up.]
[Cueball waits for return; continual waiting.]
[Cueball is dejected, head hangs low.]
[Cueball throws a boomerang.]
[Cueball waits for the boomerang.]
Outside: Oh God
Outside: The ozone layer!
[Cueball is surprised.]
[Cueball throws a boomerang-like banana.]
[Cueball waits.]
[Megan walks in.]
Megan: That was our last banana.
Megan: You're such an asshole.
[Cueball throws a boomerang.]
[The boomerang breaks out of the panel box.]
[The boomerang breaks out of a spacecraft, followed by Cueball.]


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Wow, that's a pretty cool spaceship. How does he leave? Me[citation needed] 15:02, 8 September 2023 (UTC)

I feel like he isn't leaning back in horror in the last strip. I rather think that, since he's in a spaceship with no gravity, the angular momentum makes him turn a bit. 22:38, 26 December 2023 (UTC)